7 days away, 7 players I’m most intrigued to watch


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      • #99902
        12

        Ghost of the HEB
        Ute Fan
        @deseretgentlman

        (In no particular order) these are the guys who aren’t necessarily seen as stars now, but will be in a few weeks:
        Jaylen Dixon – In all the interviews throughout fall camp, Dixon is the WR who’s name came up the most. Whit has talked about him as being a legit deep threat. Ludwig praised him as becoming an every down WR — not just a specialty guy. The connection between him and Huntley has been noteworthy.
        Cole Fotheringham/Brant Kuithe – I combine these two because they will have very similar roles, and both will be very effective weapons. Both have bulked up and improved their blocking while keeping their athleticism. Many talk about the lack of throw game threats being a weakness for the offense, but these two will wreak havoc in the passing game. TT just scratched the surface with these two, and Ludwig will fully integrate them into the game plans.
        Francis Bernard – He was still in a bit of turmoil when he joined the team last year. He was getting academics squared away, his body wasn’t quite right, and there was contention between him and the previous LB coach. He spent all offseason getting in shape and getting academics figured out. Francis came into fall camp in the best shape of his life, and in his words “the best football player I’ve ever been”. Seeing him in person, he’s a much more menacing figure than last year; faster, stronger, meaner and more of a leader. Whit says he’s “cut out of the same block as Chase Hansen and Cody Barton”.
        Terrell Burgess – In a competitive camp position battle, Burgess emerged as the starter next to Julian Blackmon at Safety. The coaches are very confident that Terrell will step in and carry the Ute torch of high-level safety play. He is fast, smart, hits hard and just a great dude to talk to and be around.
        Tyler Huntley – While the coaches and most fans know what Huntley is capable of, he is still very underrated and often criticized throughout this offseason. Coming into the first game, the coaches couldn’t be happier with where Tyler is in his development— specifically with his decision making and accuracy. One coach, off the record, says Huntley is better now than he was at any point last season.
        Jordan Wilmore – It takes a lot for Whit to heap praise on a freshman, and Wilmore has received plenty of it from him. Wilmore has shined in the starting reps he’s gotten with Moss sitting out of contact play. His quickness and elusiveness stand out. He also runs hard and doesn’t go down without a fight.
        Maxs Tupai – While Maxs was easily the highest rated recruit on the D-Line, he’s overshadowed by the three NFL prospects that accompany him on said line. He came on strong the second half of last season, and you can expect him to pick up where he left off. When asking players who’s the hardest hitter on defense, you’ll almost always hear Tupai’s name mentioned first— just ask USC QB Matt Fink how he broke his ribs and see if he agrees.

      • #99926
        1

        chinngiskhaan
        Ute Fan
        @chinngiskhaan

        I agree with you on all of these! Utah doubters often bring up losing our two starting safeties as proof that our defense won’t be as good. Corrion Ballard caused more bad than good in my opinion. He often took the wrong angle on balls that could have easily been picks, and were instead touchdowns or big gains for the opposition. When you look back at a lot of the big plays we gave up last year, he was involved in pretty much all of them in some meaningful way. I think Burgess will be at least as good as Ballard, though I’m sure he will play more of the Blair role than the Ballard role.

        I’m also relieved that Blackmon is at safety now. He, unlike Ballard, is quite good at tracking down the long ball, and high pointing it to make a good play on the ball. I worry that he will get crossed up a lot like he did last season though. There were several times when he gave up huge plays due to missed tackles that, A. should have been PBUs, and/or B. Should have been easy easy easy tackles. I don’t know, I think Blackmon could be really good in this role, but I worry about his tackling ability.

      • #99930
        1

        UM4G
        Ute Fan
        @um4g

        Linebacker, next to the O-line, is my biggest worry this season, so I’m glad to hear that about Bernard.

        I can’t wait to watch Huntley play now that he’s added that extra 25 lbs, hopefully he’s also improved on his sliding technique…

        • #99997

          PhiladelphiaUte
          Ute Fan
          @philadelphiaute

          Huntley certainly put on some good weight, but that story about him adding an extra 25-lbs has proven to be somewhat misleading.  Those 25-lbs that he’d added didn’t occur between now and last year’s Holiday Bowl.  It occurred between now and since he’d graduated from high school.

          Since last season, he’d only added about 5-lbs.

      • #99939
        3

        Grayshirt
        Ute Fan
        @grayshirt

        Wait.. TH had a sliding technique? 😀

        • #99953

          Tony
          Admin/Founder
          @admin

          No.

           

        • #99957
          2

          UM4G
          Ute Fan
          @um4g

          I wish I could find a replay of the first slide I remember him attempting, it was… interesting

          • #99998

            PhiladelphiaUte
            Ute Fan
            @philadelphiaute

            Is that the one where after his attempted slide, the camera panned up to the booth and showed Troy Taylor and the rest of the coaches up there laughing?

      • #99947

        FtheY
        Ute Fan
        @fthey

        Good post. 

        Can you tell us more about the Bernard and coach tension? That’s the first I’ve heard that. 

        • #100045

          Ghost of the HEB
          Ute Fan
          @deseretgentlman

          Ena was pretty hard on Francis. He didn’t show up in great shape, and he wasn’t getting the playing time he thought he deserved. When he did play, he wasn’t fully confident with the defensive system. Which led to more “tough love” from Ena.

          Looking back, Francis says he’s grateful for the lessons Ena taught him, and he says he’s better for it.

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